CLC 105 - Myths of the Greek World
This web site is the a working syllabus and resource center for the multiple sections of CLC 105 - Myths of the Greek World. This IS the syllabus for two sections of CLC 105 in spring 2007. The courses are identical, differing only in time and section number -- different exams too ;-). All information on this site pertains to both sections unless otherwise specified. The URL: http://www.albany.edu/faculty/dg6349/CLC105_SP07/.
catalog number: CLC 105
catalog number: CLC 105
I strongly suggest that you contact me by e-mail or face-to-face. The phone number listed below is the department number and will likely not reach me with any haste. Likewise, the department (snail) mailbox is haphazardly checked. Email, on the other hand, is monitored daily.
name: Daniel Gremmler
Course Description & Requirements
Myths of the Greek World is a survey of the origin and development of the major myths of ancient Greece. There are no prerequisites, and the course is suitable for majors in Greek and Roman Civilization, English, History as well as non-majors with an interest in the study of mythology and/or ancient history. As the title indicates, this course is focused on Greek mythology. The mythology of Greece was a fluid entity in the ancient world, and the Greeks were in constant contact with other cultures that "borrowed" from the Greeks as much as the Greeks "borrowed" from them, but the focus of this course is on the Greek aspects of these "shared" mythologies. This iteration of CLC 105 covers the full gamut of Greek myth: from the Archaic to the Hellenistic. More accurately, the time period of our sources is between the 700s B.C.E. (Homer) and 200 C.E. (Apollodorus), approximately 1000 years. We will read from a wide range of sources: epic poetry from Homer and Hesiod, sixth and fifth century odes, excerpts from fifth century tragedy, and prose authors ranging from Herodotus in the fifth century B.C.E. to Apollodorus in the second century C.E. (our only source for the Hellenistic age - some 400 years after many of its sources). We will also explore ancient and modern depictions of mythological events and persons, primarily as they are depicted in ancient sculpture and painting as well as modern media.
Before we jump into the myths themselves, we will spend some time narrowing down what exactly the term "myth" means and how it functioned in the Greek world as well as how it functions in our own. The myths we will analyze hinge, to some extent, upon the understandings we will develop at the beginning of the semester as they simultaneously challenge and (re)shape that understanding. Thus, while the overt purpose of studying Greek myth is to foster an understanding of a distinctly foreign, historically removed culture (ancient Greek mythic thought), it should also cause us to recognize the many components of our culture that we share in common with ancient Greece. This often ambiguous and ambivalent relationship between 21st century America and ancient Greece is demonstrated in the term "myth" itself. As is the case with many words in the English language, "myth" is a Greek word, and while it's meaning has changed - both during its usage in ancient Greece and the 20th century "Western World" - our usage of it continues to reflect its ancient meaning(s) despite the simultaneous and paradoxical denial of those meanings. In a very real sense, then, the study of Greek myth(s) will demand a constant reassessment of how we define myth today - both what we mean when say "myth" and how "myths" function in societies, ancient and modern.
select readings (in PDF or HTML format) will be posted on the course web site (http://www.albany.edu/faculty/dg6349/CLC105_SP07/). Students are expected to periodically download and read this material. I suggest that you print these files or buy a copy of the plays in paperback; although no additional purchases are required.
Students are expected to attend class regularly and ON TIME; pay attention in class; take notes; keep up with assigned readings; successfully complete midterm and final exams; participate in class; and complete any miscellaneous assignments in a timely fashion. If you need to use the bathroom, do so BEFORE, not during, class. If you cannot hold your urine for an hour and a half, then there is something seriously wrong, and you need to see a doctor about your incontinence problem immediately. Cell phones are NOT to be used during class. Put your phones on vibrate or, better yet, TURN THEM OFF. Do not get up during the middle of class to take a phone call. Students should not be going in and/or out of the lecture center doors for any reason during lectures. It is extremely obnoxious, annoying and disrespectful. DO NOT DO IT.
Students must come to class ready to learn (i.e., take notes & ask questions). This includes bringing the proper materials: pen/pencil, a notebook, a copy of the previous night's reading. This all seems like common sense stuff, but believe you me, it needs to be stated.
Grading is pretty simple. The midterm, final exam and periodic pop quizzes make-up 100% of your grade. But there is a bonus: if you attend every class, I will raise your grade 10% (the equivalent of a whole letter grade - so a B would become an A). Attendance will be tracked via "minute quizzes" at the end of class. The answers to these questions are your quiz grade, and they also serve as attendance monitors. At the end of the semester, if you believe you have maintained perfect attendance, you must notify me during the last day of class. I will then verify that you took every "minute quiz" of the semester and answered at least 60% of them correctly. If you did, then you will be awarded the 10% bonus. This is an extremely valuable bonus. It will only be awarded to those students who go out of their way to attend EVERY CLASS (or at least every class I quiz you). This means that if you have to miss a class for a legitimate reason (e.g., a family member died or you had a doctor's appointment or you missed a class to compete in an athletic event or religious service), then the fundamental fact remains that you did not attend every class and, therefore, will not earn the 10% bonus. We only meet two days a week and this extra 10% is a BONUS. Alternatively, if you provide adequate DOCUMENTATION for excusable absences (and those are your ONLY absences) then you may apply for a 5% bonus. Adequate documentation usually entails a letter from the Dean's Office asking that a student be allowed to make-up the work for a legitimate absence or, for example, a similar letter from athletic support services (the latter must be supplied far in advance of the absence(s) in question). These are my terms. They will not change.
If I even see a cell phone or any electronic device during an exam, then the student in question will automatically fail the exam in question. Failure of either exam, incidentally, entails failure of the entire course (40%).
Do not bring books, bags (including pocket books), hats or other extra material into the lecture center on the day of a scheduled exam. If you do, they must be left at the bottom of the room for the duration of the test. Anyone found in violation of this policy will automatically fail the exam in question. All that is required on the day of the exam is a pen or pencil (ideally a couple of them - just in case).
The schedule is subject to change. Check the web site (http://www.albany.edu/faculty/dg6349/CLC105_SP07/schedule.htm) regularly for updates - especially if you are ABSENT and may have missed a revision to the schedule announced in class.
General Education Requirement
CLC105 - Myths of the Greek World satisfies the general education requirement for disciplinary practices in Humanities. Humanities courses teach students to analyze and interpret texts, ideas, artifacts, and discourse systems, and the human values, traditions, and beliefs that they reflect.
Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism
Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty (e.g., cheating on quizzes/exams) are serious offenses. Students found to be in blatant violation of the university’s policies will be reported to the dean’s office per university regulations and receive a failing grade (a zero, in fact) for the assignment in question. A second offense will result in automatic failure of the course. Plagiarism is representing another person’s work as your own. This (obviously) includes buying a paper or having someone else write your paper, but it also means you have to be careful to CITE the information that you use in your paper and that you know how/when to use quotations and paraphrases. Cheating on exams is often, although not always, a form of plagiarism - although both practices are equally condemned by the university, so don't do it!
Plagiarism as defined in the Undergraduate Bulletin:
Presenting as one’s own work the work of another person (for example, the words, ideas, information, data, evidence, organizing principles, or style of presentation of someone else). Plagiarism includes paraphrasing or summarizing without acknowledgment, submission of another student’s work as one’s own, the purchase of prepared research or completed papers or projects, and the unacknowledged use of research sources gathered by someone else. Failure to indicate accurately the extent and precise nature of one’s reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism. The student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging academic, scholarly, or creative indebtedness, and the consequences for violating University regulations.